At its fifth meeting in Geneva (7-9 March), the Implementation and Compliance Committee (ICC) considered issues based on the information provided by Parties in their first full national reports.
The ICC meeting was chaired by Paulina Riquelme (Chile), who thanked the Committee members for their commitment, and welcomed vice-chair and rapporteur Itsuki Kuroda (Japan). She stated that “this meeting is critical as it is the first opportunity to review the progress made by Parties to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury. I look forward to productive discussions."
In her opening remarks, Monika Stankiewicz, Executive Secretary of the Minamata Convention, highlighted “the essential role of the Committee’s work in advancing implementation of the Convention until COP-5 in late 2023.” She welcomed the Members, further noting that, “during this meeting, you will consider and respond to the preliminary analysis of the Secretariat on the full national reports.”
Under Article 21 of the Minamata Convention, each Party is required to report to the Conference of the Parties (COP) on the measures taken to implement the provisions of the agreement and on the effectiveness of such measures and possible challenges. The first full national reports were to be submitted by 31 December 2021, covering the reporting period from 16 August 2017 to 31 December 2020.
For this meeting, the Secretariat prepared a report to provide the Committee with information on the reporting performance of Parties and the Secretariat’s findings and comments on the submissions of Parties for each of the 43 questions. The report also presented to the Committee with options for actions to consider.
To help visualize the responses, the Secretariat created an online Dashboard that collates the information on the reporting performance of all Parties and their responses in 135 graphs. The dashboard data is drawn in real-time from the Online Reporting Tool (ORT) database.
After a detailed review of Party submissions against considerations of Convention obligations and related information on their progress in implementation, the Committee was able to formulate recommendations for consideration by the Conference of Parties at its fifth meeting (COP-5) from 30 October to 3 November 2023.
The Committee expressed their appreciation for the high reporting rate of the Parties of 92% and the Secretariat’s efforts to reach out and support the submission of the reports.
Executive Secretary Stankiewicz also warmly welcomed the Parties’ admirable reporting rate: “This is an impressive milestone for our young Convention. I look forward to the strong reporting momentum carried over to the second short national reports.”
The Secretariat will open the ORT for submission of the short national report on 5 April 2023. There will be a dedicated Minamata Online session on the same day to outline the reporting timeline, the resources prepared by the Secretariat to support Parties, the log-in procedures, and to clarify any questions as need be. An online course on national reporting will also be made available in April 2023 to further support the Parties.